By Rileigh Campbell | MSU Communications Student, Class of 2025
Studio A and B courses in the Department of Building Construction Science at Mississippi State offer students real-world experience in building through the construction of a modular home.
These first-year studio students work on modular homes each academic year, with summer studio serving as a way for students to get ahead or catch up if they transferred or changed majors.
This past summer term, the studio courses hosted 14 students in Studio A and 15 students in Studio B. Each studio has a designated superintendent and an assistant superintendent, chosen by the students, who oversee the various tasks and trades for communication and ensure timely completion of the project.
“In Studio A, our approach was grounded in the foundational principles of design, drafting, and construction, with particular focus on materials and methods,” said Assistant Professor Mohsen Garshasby, who instructed both Studio A and B courses this past summer.
“We introduced students to three dimensions for concrete slabs – 6x6,6x8, and 6x10 – serving as the foundational blueprint for their individual modular building designs,” said Garshasby.
He also explained that design options were expanded by adding an upper module, which allowed students to enhance floor space.
Jack Barr, a sophomore BCS major, said that the most helpful part of the Studio A course was learning how to do cost estimations and quantity takeoffs.
“They are helpful because that is a major part of building…that way you know if you have enough materials, and it can help you to eliminate the amount of waste that you have in the building process,” said Barr.
After each student completed their own design concepts, one student’s design was chosen by a jury comprised of the students for the actual construction.
Garshasby said that students began the construction journey “with the pouring of concrete slabs and progressing to wall framing, wall sheathing, and air barrier installation.”
Studio B offers a more in-depth exploration of building systems and fabrication processes. Students learn about the principles of construction management, diverse structural systems, and examine different roofing and wall systems, said Garshasby.
Additions to the modular home were made by installation of windows and doors, roofing and siding materials, and application of rigid insulation.
These modular homes are built on MSU’s campus in the Howell Building courtyard.